South Korean Moon to participate in COP26 climate talks and G20 summit
By Hyonhee Shin
SEOUL – South Korean President Moon Jae-in will travel to Europe next week to attend a Group of 20 summit in Rome and the United Nations climate conference in Scotland, his office said on Friday.
The nine-day trip, which begins on Thursday, will also include talks on October 29 at the Vatican with Pope Francis and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Moon’s spokeswoman said.
Moon will then participate in the two-day gathering of G20 leaders in Rome from October 30, before moving to Glasgow for the COP26 the summit will take place from October 31 to November 12.
He then plans to make a state visit to Hungary where he will participate in a summit with the so-called “Visegrad Four” countries, including Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
South Korea is one of the world’s most fossil fuel-dependent economies, with coal accounting for over 41% of the country’s electricity mix and renewable energy just over 6%.
Last year, Moon pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkora-environment-greenewdeal/south-koreas-moon-targets-carbon-neutrality -by-2050-idUSKBN27D1DU and unveiled a Green New Deal https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkora-environment-greenewdeal/south-koreas-moon-targets-carbon-neutrality-by-2050-idUSKBN27D1DU to create jobs and stimulate economic recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. This month, it pledged to raise its emissions reduction target to 40% of 2018 levels by 2030, from 26.3% previously.
In the Vatican, the two sides want to discuss ways to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and global issues, Moon’s spokeswoman said.
In July, Seoul’s intelligence chief said he was working on a possible visit https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/seoul-working-pope-visit-nkorea-vatican-agency-says -2021-07-08 by François to North Korea after Moon relayed a verbal invitation https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-pope-southkorea-invite-idUKKCN1MS1Q4 from leader Kim Jong Un during his 2018 meeting with the pontiff.
Officials from the North Korean Embassy in London will join the COP26, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported on Friday, a possible sign that the reclusive country could resume in-person diplomacy after two years of focusing on the interior amid the COVID-19 pandemic and border closures.